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Jesus, the Bible, and Homosexuality, Revised and Expanded Edition: Explode the Myths, Heal the Church Paperback – April 14, 2009

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Editorial Reviews Review

"The book is masterful at describing how the church can learn from its past struggles in moving forward beyond the current divide. Rogers issues a prophetic and persuasive call for a more inclusive and more faithful church." —Jeffrey S. Siker, Professor & Chair, Department of Theological Studies, Loyola Marymount University

"A valuable book has gotten even better in this new revised edition. Rogers's new prefatory relating of particular stories is compelling, the appendix draws important information together from other denominations, and the new chapter 8 will be useful to many. I strongly recommend this book." —J. Philip Wogaman, Professor Emeritus of Christian ethics, Wesley Theological Seminary, and former senior minister at Foundry United Methodist Church in Washington, D.C.

"Searching Scripture even more widely, sharing the progress towar d equality across a broad range of denominations and describing his encounters with so many devout LGBT folk, Jack shows us how we can biblically and truthfully include all our children in the gospel promise, 'Jesus loves me, this I know.'" —Rev. Janet Edwards, Parish Associate, Community of Reconciliation, Pittsburgh, PA

"Rogers is more than a professor. He is one of the great evangelists of our time. He has heard the good news of God's love for all people, and he has given his life to sharing that news with others. This is a book that saves lives." —Ted A. Smith, Assistant Professor of Ethics and Society, Vanderbilt Divinity School Review

Praise for the Revised and Expanded Edition

"Rogers offers both a rigorous yet accessible theological study and a model of spiritual discernment that is essential reading for anyone struggling to reconcile their faith with the needs of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community." —Harry Knox, Director, Religion and Faith Program, The Human Rights Campaign

"The compelling biblical and theological case Jack Rogers makes for the full acceptance of gay couples is simply impossible to ignore." —William Stacy Johnson, Princeton Theological Seminary, author of A Time to Embrace: Same-gender Relationships in Religion, Law, and Politics.

"Rogers's biblical scholarship, humane love, and openness to evidence helps us discern what Jesus would do, and what we, his people, should do." —David G. Myers, Hope College, co-author, What God Has Joined Together: The Christian Case for Gay Marriage.

"I'm overflowing with gratitude for this work. Jack Rogers continues 'to equip the saints for the work of ministry,' directing his gifts as prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher to building new understandings and relationships in the church." —Rev. Deborah A. Block, Pastor, Immanuel Presbyterian Church, Milwaukee, WI
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press; Rev Exp edition (April 28, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 066423397X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0664233976
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #132,432 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Jack Rogers has written a concise articulation of how a Christian can (and should) seek equal rights for those in the gay and lesbian communities. Rogers approaches this issue from a variety of different angles, not restricting his case or discussion to one area such as Biblical references to homosexuality. Here are several of these perspectives or angles and some of what he states concerning them:

--The pattern of misusing and abusing the Bible in order to justify oppression: Rogers focuses in on slavery (or Black civil rights) and woman's rights. In both cases, these groups were viewed as inferior based upon a biblical curse, their moral character, and their willfully sinful nature. Rogers briefly attempts to explain how seemingly upright individuals could come to hold such repugnant views, concluding that it was a mixture of bad biblical interpretation and philosophical presuppositions. He finally notes that the same pattern has reappeared in the LGBT controversy with gays and lesbians simply taking the place of Blacks and women.

--Biblical interpretation methodology: On this issue, Rogers contends that the general or persistent themes surrounding the life and purpose of Jesus are to be given interpretative priority over individual passages isolated from this overarching narrative. As he states, "The Bible is a story, and its central character is Jesus Christ" (56). Rogers thinks that these general themes should be held in the forefront when interpreting each passage of Scripture, especially passages referring to narrow commandments or moral prerogatives. In light of this, he holds that Jesus' words on divorce should be seen as ideals desired to be held but not slavishly enforced.
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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful By John B. Erthein on May 24, 2007
Format: Paperback
Jack Rogers, Professor Emeritus at San Francisco Theological Seminary and a former Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) has written this book in order to, as the subtitle says "Explode the Myths and Heal the Church." This is a laudable goal. But how well does this book accomplish that goal?

In my opinion: not well. Rogers draws analogies between the church (and I need to clarify that when Rogers discusses the church, he means the Presbyterian Church (USA), a fast declining mainline denomination) changing its mind on issues of race, gender and marriage with changing its mind on homosexuality. In other words, while the church previously endorsed racial discrimination, even slavery; opposed women in leadership; and prohibited divorce; it holds to a different view now, and should follow the same trajectory with homosexuality. What is interesting to me is that in making this argument, Rogers shows that Scripture seems to matter less for each change. What I mean is that he marshalls impressive Scriptural evidence against racism. And the church, not just the Presbyterian Church (USA), agrees as a whole that racism is a bad thing and that people should be treated equally regardless of race. I know of no recognized denomination that affirms racism today ... from the liberal UCC to the conservative Southern Baptists and Assemblies of God. On the question of women in leadership, Rogers brings some Scriptural support to his perspective, but not as much, and that is reflected in the continuing refusal of most churches to ordain women as pastors. The Scriptural support for that practice is not as strong.
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125 of 177 people found the following review helpful By rossuk on April 1, 2010
Format: Paperback
It is amazing how many 5 star reviews there are on Jack Roger's book, it is quite clear that people do not critically evaluate what they read. There are serious problems with his arguments, primarily the use of false analogies, such as slaves, women and Gentile inclusion (Acts 15), which he mentions on p79 and p86.

There is certainly a trajectory for freedom from slavery in both the OT and NT, even Paul is egalitarian to women in 1 Cor 7:2-5 also Gal 3:28, and regarding Gentile inclusion, scripture was used to justify this (Acts 15:16), however, there is no such trajectory in either the OT and NT for inclusion in the church of practising homosexuals, see 1 Cor 6:9, when it refers to the malakos and arsenokoites, past tense. The scripture goes counter-culturally on the issue of male-male sex in both the OT and the NT.

In his discussion of "arsenokoites" (1 Cor 6:9, 1Tim 1:10) p70-71, what he fails to tell us that is that Robin Scroggs in his 1983 book (The NT and homosexuality) tells us that the Greek word "arsenokoites" was derived from the Septuagint version of the Levitical prohibitions in Lev 18 and 20, a fact confirmed by David F Wright in 1984, which means that in Paul's mind the Levitical moral prohibitions applied in his day, otherwise he could not judge the incestuous man in 1 Cor 5, the problem was that the church was being too tolerant. Also Scroggs shows that the Hebrew equivalent of "arsenokoites" is "mishkav zakur" it is a technical term used by Rabbis of homosexuals. Instead, his star witness is the gay professor Dale Martin and his article "arsenokoites and malakos", who has deliberately tried to confuse the issue because it helps his cause, Martin is aware of Scroggs and Wright as he cites them, but he does not enter into a dialogue, which is a pity.
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